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1989 marked the death of the 80’s. Music was evolving, as it always does, and the decline of hair bands was set in place. A lot of didn’t know it at the time, but the popularity in metal was rising way above what we expected. Unfortunately it would be overshadowed once again by another genre that was slowly emerging. Other than music, there were quite a few significant events that took place in 1989. The ones I remember the most were the Exxon/Vadez oil spill, the fall of the Berlin wall and the earthquake the rocked California during the world series. The Exxon Valdez oil spill was all over the news. Rumors of the captain being drunk and running aground, spilling oil into Prince William Sound. Later, cleanup pictures were shown of oil covered animals, similar to what we saw in 2010 with the BP spill. It was saddening. The fall of the Berlin wall made a lot of people feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but I bet the people of East Germany felt much more than warm and fuzzy. Freedom for the oppressed must be a feeling that is indescribable. Lastly, I remember the world series being delayed a bit after the 6.9 earthquake known as the Loma Prieta earthquake devastated the San Fran bay area, leaving 63 people dead, thousands injured and even more homeless. Here are some other significant events (in no particular order) of 1989 and then we’ll get on to the metals…
- Hirohito, the emperor of Japan died at the age of 87 after a 62 year reign.
- Ted Bundy was executed. He confessed to 30 homicides during a four year period of 1974 to 1978.
- George H.W. Bush was inaugurated as the 41st president of the United States.
- The Soviet Union left Afghanistan after almost ten years, admitting defeat.
- The “June 4th Massacre” occurred when The People’s Liberation Army used live fire to clear protesters at Tienanmen Square in Beijing, China, leaving thousands dead.
- Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini dies at the age of 86.
- The Nintendo Gameboy was released, straining the eyes of children and eating up 4 AA batteries everywhere.
- Sega Released the Genesis…I was still playing an Atari 2600.
- Robert Tappan Morris Jr. was indicted for releasing a computer virus and being the first person prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986.
- Pete Rose was banned from Baseball for illegal gambling. There were allegations that he even bet against the Cincinnati Reds, the team that he was managing. Albeit a great career, Pete Rose has been indefinitely banned from being inducted into the baseball Hall Of Fame.
- and lastly, the United States invades Panama to dethrone dictator Manuel Noriega. It has even been said that they used heavy music in psychological operations during the mission.
Now, onto the metal. 1989 was another great year for thrash bands.
- Nuclear Assault released their third album, Handle With Care with a great album cover depicting the Earth with a ‘Handle With Care’ stamp on it. Great statement.
- Sepultura released a cleaner sound with Beneath The Remains, also their third album.
- Sodom released Agent Orange, also their third album.
- Testament released Practice What You Preach and, you guessed it (or already knew), their third album.
- Exodus release Fabulous Disaster, their second album with Zetro. Guess which album this was for Exodus? Yep, third.
- Dark Angel released one of my favorites from the band, Leaves Scars. Would you believe me if I told you that this was their third album?
- Coroner released No More Color. No shit…their third album.
- Overkill released Years In Decay, an awesome album. Overkill had to break the cycle here. This was their fourth album.
- Kreator released Extreme Aggression, also their fourth album.
- Black Sabbath released Headless Cross. Or should I say Tony Iommi and a bunch of hired helped released Headless Cross.
- Carcass released Symphonies Of Sickness and added Mike Ammott to the lineup. Symphonies was the beginning of a more death metal sound than their grindcore roots.
- KISS found it ‘Hot in The Shade’ after an 8 year break of studio albums.
- Morbid Angel released the “Official” first album, Altars Of Madness. They were so radikult back then!
- Obituary released their first full length entitled Slowly We Rot.
- Motley Crue made the billboard top 100 with Dr. Feelgood.
- Skid Row released their debut, swearing they were not a hair band, but sporting a tougher looking hair band image. Their music set them apart, slightly.
- On a sad note, 1989 was also the year that Cacophony broke up and Jason Becker was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Lastly, Metallica lost to Jethro Tull in the newly created Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category of the 1989 Grammy Awards. They weren’t the only ones that lost to Jethro Tull; AC/DC lost as well as Jane’s Addiction. This was only the first display of Grammy epic idiocy and would continue on for years to come. Unfortunately the Grammy judges did learn something from this mistake; give Metallica an award every time they are nominated. Since 1989, they have one 7 Grammys. Yeah, fuck the Grammys.
Well, it looks as if the time machine needs me to feed the Mr. Fusion. Until next time…